Tag Archives: Nonfiction

Writing Outside Your Genre

Posted by Gabrielle Esposito, GD Fiction Editor for 7.1

I identify as a fiction writer because I’m too self-conscious to write nonfiction, and I can’t write poetry because I don’t know when to shut up. I’ve found in the writing community that writers have preferred genres, and once that preference is identified, all the other genres disappear. Most of a writer’s hesitation comes from the fact that the three genres are very different. Continue reading

Comments Off on Writing Outside Your Genre

Filed under Blog

Introducing Gandy Dancer 6.1 Section Heads

Posted by Merrin Sardi, Fiction Reader for issue 6.1

We are already half way through the semester but it’s never too late to meet the new section heads! Below, each editor explains what prompted them to sign on as a section head this semester, and tells us what they are hoping to encounter in our submission pile. Perhaps their views will inspire you to submit a piece or two to the literary magazine. Our deadline has been extended until 10/22. Continue reading

Comments Off on Introducing Gandy Dancer 6.1 Section Heads

Filed under Blog

The Opposite of Loneliness: Marina Keegan’s Sentiments for the Student

Posted By Emily McClemont, GD Creative Nonfiction Reader for 5.2

“Sparkl[ing] with talent, humanity, and youth.” (O, The Oprah Magazine).

In May of 2012, Marina Keegan graduated magna cum laude from Yale University. She lost her life in a car accident shortly after. Two years following Keegan’s death, a collection of her short stories and essays was published. A New York Times bestseller and Goodreads Choice Awards in Nonfiction (2014) winner, The Opposite of Loneliness conveys, as Keegan’s former mentor, Harold Bloom states, Keegan’s request for the student generation “to invest their youthful pride and exuberance both in self-development and in the improvement of our tormented society.” Continue reading

Comments Off on The Opposite of Loneliness: Marina Keegan’s Sentiments for the Student

Filed under Blog

Meet the New Editors for Gandy Dancer 5.2

Posted by Jeanna Foti, GD Fiction Reader for 5.2

With a new semester, comes a brand new issue of Gandy Dancer! As the submission deadline approaches, this semester’s new group of editors is eager to dive in and get started on issue 5.2. In the meantime, I’ve asked the new section heads a couple of questions in order to properly introduce them to our readers. This semester, we have two creative non-fiction co-editors, Josh DeJoy and Meghan Fellows. We have Jackie Shost as our fiction editor, Kallie Swyer as our poetry editor, and Noah Mazer as our art editor. Continue reading

Comments Off on Meet the New Editors for Gandy Dancer 5.2

Filed under Blog

Writing About Family

Posted by Sarah Steil, GD Fiction Section Head for 5.1Writing About Family

My oldest sister, Dani, leans over me, brushes her hair behind her ear as she hands me her laptop. “It’s not very good,” she blushes, “I wrote it in a day.” Dani has been telling me for weeks about her summer writing class, in which she has begun to place her childhood memories on paper. I have spent my weekend-long college break in her city apartment, waiting for the moment when she’d cave and allow me to read her stories about our lives. Continue reading

Comments Off on Writing About Family

Filed under Blog

Introducing Gandy Dancer’s Section Heads for Issue 5.1

Posted by Marley DeRosia, GD Fiction Reader for 5.1

It’s that time of the year! The new Gandy Dancer staff is starting to pick up speed as our submission deadline draws to a close, along with the dying rays of summer heat (thank goodness!) As we all settle in with our warm mugs of coffee or cider, we’ll begin reading and assessing the quality and craft of the pieces submitted. For those of you considering submitting, we’ve extended our deadline to October 8th! To get us ready to read, I asked the section heads some hard-hitting questions. This year’s fiction editor is Sarah Steil, the poetry head is Robbie Held, and the creative nonfiction editor Alexis Sammler. Here’s what these clever individuals had to say about their goals for Gandy Dancer and their reading interests:

Marley DeRosia: Sarah, what do you hope to accomplish as the Fiction Section head for this edition’s issue?

Sarah Steil:  I hope to feature different voices/writers that offer stories so powerful I need to go take a walk after reading them. There are always some poems/stories that move me so greatly that I think how did they do that?, and then, how can I do that, too? I want every fiction story featured in Gandy Dancer to, metaphorically, punch the reader in the face.

MD: What made you want to be the fiction editor this semester? Have you had experience writing or publishing fiction in the past? Continue reading

Comments Off on Introducing Gandy Dancer’s Section Heads for Issue 5.1

Filed under Blog

Senior Readings: An Exploration of Past and Future

Posted by Maya Bergamasco, Poetry reader for issue 4.2

Here in Geneseo, spring is not only a time to lounge on the campus green or celebrate the return of famed Geneseo sunsets. For English students, spring heralds the annual senior readings, where every graduating senior in the creative writing program reads their work for their peers, professors, and family. For me, this is a bittersweet time. As I listen to my peers share their poetry, fiction, and nonfiction, and hear their plans for the future, I am both excited and saddened. Excited that they will do such amazing things: become a teacher, earn an MFA in creative writing, or join the world of publishing. Yet, I am saddened that I will no longer laugh with them in class, or receive their feedback in workshop, or simply have the privilege to read rough drafts fresh from their thoughts. The seniors, too, seem to share this bittersweet feeling.

Continue reading

Comments Off on Senior Readings: An Exploration of Past and Future

Filed under Blog

Gandy Dancer 4.2 Preview!!

Posted by Emily Peterson, Poetry reader for issue 4.2

Here's a sneak peek at our cover for issue 4.2! Artwork by Lei Pen Gan

Here’s a sneak peek at our cover for issue 4.2!
Artwork by Lei Pen Gan

As the cruel month of April comes to a close and the beginning of May is within sight, Gandy Dancer issue 4.2 is nearly ready for launch. With contributions from students across ten different SUNY schools, issue 4.2 delivers a wide range of poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, and art that encapsulates SUNY’s literary skill. The Gandy Dancer staff has worked all semester long to curate a magazine that celebrates diverse voices and unique creative expression.

We are proud to publish six different works of fiction in this issue of Gandy Dancer including Sarah Hopkins’ haunting piece, “Frontierland,” which is a story set on a bleak and dusty oil well that captivates the reader with its strong sense of place. We are also pleased to publish Abigail Allen’s “Love is Lemons,” a quiet story that highlights the subtleties and frustrations of young love. Issue 4.2’s poetry selection offers poems from eighteen different authors. These poems range dramatically in theme, tone, and structure. Michal Zweig’s “Happy//Over” commands the reader’s attention with its shifting typeface, strikethroughs, and a spliced in quote from a US Supreme Court justice. Jay’s two poems, “Winning the Lottery, 1969” and “Cannon Fodder” employ an economy of language which is concise yet powerful. Christine Davis’ deeply personal essay “Onliness” explores the complexity of family dynamics and the role of only children. “What Are You Laughing At?” by Brendan Mahoney is a humorous work of nonfiction that delivers poignant commentary on modern day comedic discourse. The Gandy Dancer staff is proud to publish original artwork in a variety of mediums—peppering photography, painting, collage, and even sculpture throughout the magazine. Issue 4.2’s Featured Artist is Lei Peng Gan whose three paintings “Untitled No. 17,” “Muar: Jalan Meriam No.2,” and “Intersection No. 5” feature rich colors and distinct lines.

We hope you join us for the official release of Gandy Dancer issue 4.2 at the launch party on Wednesday, May 11 at 9:00 AM in the College Union Hunt Room.

Comments Off on Gandy Dancer 4.2 Preview!!

Filed under Blog

Interview with the Author of Slats: The Life and Legend of Jimmy Slattery, Richard Blake

Posted by Jordan Keane, CNF Reader for Issue 4.1

Alright, let’s face it: writing is difficult.

It’s hair-pulling, teeth-grinding, insomnia-inducing, head-on-the-desk difficult. Okay, maybe I’m exaggerating a bit, but sometimes it can feel like an abyss of technique, structure, style, and voice from which it is impossible to draw words.

In 2008 at the Buffalo Irish Center, I had the opportunity to talk to someone I now hold in high esteem, author and a family friend, Rich Blake, about this struggle. My father mentioned that Blake had recently published his nonfiction novel, The Day Donny Herbert Woke Up, and encouraged me to talk to him. Though at first I was nervous, once we got to talking about writing and publishing, I was overcome with excitement. From that conversation, I took away a piece of his advice:

Don’t go back. Don’t edit. Don’t revise. Don’t read what you’ve already written. Just keep writing ‘til you’re done. Then go back.

I carry this mantra with me. In the seven years since, I’ve continued my journey as a writer, and have found myself as a nonfiction editor for our lovely Gandy Dancer. In light of Blake’s recent publication, Slats: The Life and Legend of Jimmy Slattery, it only felt natural to reach out for some insight into the world of writing. Continue reading

Comments Off on Interview with the Author of Slats: The Life and Legend of Jimmy Slattery, Richard Blake

Filed under Blog

An Inside Perspective: What Our Editors Look For

Posted by Jenna Colozza, Media Specialist and Fiction Reader for Issue 4.1

Today marks one week until Gandy Dancer’s Fall submission deadline on October 1. One of the unique qualities of Gandy Dancer is its ever-changing staff—each issue has a whole new crew of readers and editors, all with different perspectives on the literature and art they love. I spoke with Issue 4.1’s genre editors to find out what they look for in a piece of writing. Read on for an inside perspective on what the Gandy editors hope to read and publish this season:

Sarah HopkinsSarah Hopkins, Fiction Editor, hopes for stories with sharp focus. She says, “For fiction, we are looking for pieces that are engaging, immersive, and character driven. We like to read pieces that have a sense of time and place, pieces that try something new and succeed. A short fiction submission should have an organic voice and precise language. Make us laugh, make us cry, but most importantly, make us interested.”

EvanFrom our Poetry Editor, Evan Goldstein: “As for poetry, we would like to feature original, finished poetry, detailed in its nature and broad in its reach, with vivid imagery, and themes based in the particular and personal experience, but expanding beyond as well. We’re looking for poetry that is unafraid, searching, evocative or narrative—poetry that speaks loudly or whispers, speaks clearly or in many voices, and does all with sincerity. We encourage you to send us experimental, non-traditional poetry, to push the limits of the form or break it up completely, but we could never turn down a good villanelle or pantoum—as long as form is not more than an extension of content.”

Erin Duffy4.1’s Creative Nonfiction Editor, Erin Duffy, says, “What I look for in a CNF essay is honesty, personality, and above all, freshness. A truly successful CNF piece takes the everyday and infuses it with evocative language and originality. We look for writing that is able to transcend the page and leave a lasting impact on the reader’s heart or mind. As the saying goes, life is stranger than fiction.”

HermanOur Art Editor, Alex Herman, says, We’re looking for art that’s not only original and pleasing to the eyes, but also evokes a deeper thinking from the reader. Photography is, of course, always popular, but we also love (pictures of) other art media like paintings, sketches, and sculptures. SUNY’s artistic talent is limitless, and we try to reflect as much in Gandy Dancer.”

There you have it—an inside look on the minds of our editors. Well be awaiting your submissions!

Comments Off on An Inside Perspective: What Our Editors Look For

Filed under Blog